New videos have emerged of newborn babies being uplifted by police under orders of Oranga Tamariki in Auckland.

In one case two family members were arrested for obstruction as they tried to block police from taking a newborn.

But OT stands by its practices, saying its first priority is the safety of babies, children and young people.

The first video spans nearly 20 minutes and shows a group of five police officers entering a room at Auckland Hospital to carry out a court-ordered uplift of a newborn baby.


The baby's mother is breastfeeding the infant as members of the family argue with police - and film the exchange on their phones.

"Look at this New Zealand," a female relative says.

"Oranga Tamariki trying to take our baby. This is what they do. They sent all these people here and they said we can't go home today with our baby.

"We are trying to fight for our baby. For not one more baby to be taken.

"This is just shocking New Zealand."

She says the mother has been in hospital for three days giving birth and that the police have arrived within 24 hours of the baby being born.

A number of women gather around the breastfeeding mother, blocking her from police.

"We're not going to get into any violence because right now it's about baby," the woman filming says.


"Baby is safe, baby is well taken care of."

Police tell the family there is a court order to remove the baby and warn them to leave the room or they will be arrested.

The relatives refuse and two are arrested for obstruction.

In the second, unrelated, video a baby is uplifted by police from a West Auckland property.

A young European woman is seen holding a baby, sitting on a driveway and talking with three police officers and two women dressed in plain clothes.

The officers then restrain the woman and take the baby from her.

She screams, stands up and punches a male police officer.

As she screams and wails in distress, it takes two officers to restrain her as a neighbour tries to calm her.

Oranga Tamariki deputy chief executive services for children and families (North) Glynis Sandland acknowledged the distress of the families involved.

"Bringing a child into care is always an incredibly difficult and emotional situation for families," she said.

"It is never easy, but ultimately Oranga Tamariki under law has an absolute obligation to the child and their wellbeing.

"Our role is to keep children and young people safe.

"Sometimes, this means that a child needs to be removed from an unsafe environment but this is never done without the Family Court first determining that all other avenues have been exhausted."

She would not be drawn on the circumstances that led to each uplift.

The second video shows a European woman removed by police in a driveway.
The second video shows a European woman removed by police in a driveway.

"We're unable to go into specifics about these cases," she said.

"While footage has been shared on social media, the whanau have not given permission for their private information to be discussed publicly.

"We also have an obligation to protect the identity and privacy of the child."

She commended police and OT staff for their work.

"Both our social workers and police have a difficult job to do in such circumstances.

"Emotions are high and the filming affects engagement with families at a highly sensitive time."

Questions were raised about why so many police were sent to uplifts and why five officers were needed at the Auckland Hospital situation.

"Decisions around the deployment of police staff are operational decisions made on a case-by-case basis and involve a number of factors and the number of staff deployed ultimately rests with police," a spokesman said.

He confirmed the two people arrested in the hospital room were later released without charge.

"Any further comment about this matter will need to be referred to Oranga Tamariki," said the spokesman.

The two incidents follow widespread outrage after Oranga Tamariki attempted to remove a 6-day-old baby boy from his 19-year-old mother at Hawke's Bay Hospital on May 6.

The Family Court ordered the uplift on the grounds the child's wider family had a background of domestic violence and drug use - a claim disputed by the whānau.

Supporters tried to stop the baby being taken, police were called to the hospital and the ministry backed off, but the case is still going through a Family Court process.

Oranga Tamariki has subsequently come under fire over its uplift policy and how they disproportionately affect Māori.

According to Oranga Tamariki documentation, three Māori babies a week on average are being uplifted from maternity hospitals all over the country within three months of their births.

At the time, Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft said that it had become apparent that the community was "profoundly uneasy" with the way our current care and protection of tamariki Maori was carried out.

In June Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier announced he would conduct a wide-ranging investigation.

"I think the public needs assurance that the right policies and processes are in place for their protection while at the same time safeguarding the rights of whānau," he said.

"My investigation is focused on what a good system should look like."

Oranga Tamariki is also doing its own internal investigation into the Hawke's Bay case, and the Children's Commissioner had launched a thematic review focused on Māori children aged 0-3 months.

Minister for Children Tracey Martin earlier said she was "particularly sorry to see the events that unfolded in the hospital that day".

"Everybody in that room has been impacted negatively and we need to come back together and work together constructively, not just for this whanau but also for the whanau of the future and the whanau that are actually in the process now."